Thursday, July 16, 2009

Body Complex

Ancient cultures gave importance to the perfect body.The Olmpyics was a result of the obession with the perfect form.The Mayan’s tampered with the muscles of a newborn's forhead, to comform to the mayan standard of having a flat forehead . They also drained blood from their bodies,as a form of sacrifice.The Victorians made themselves look pale white, as being feverishly delicate was the vogue during that time.During the same period women were supposed to have body sturcture identical to men.Fastforward few hundred years and look at the streets of London,people having silicon implants to look more voluptous. So if a Victorian super model travels in time and reaches present day London, she would be deemed as a ugly women.The standards have changed.
The native tribes in all continents still follow mutilation and body worship.

When we see the present day diseases of aneorixa and bulimia,we can see the results of body imagery affecting everyday life.The illusion that there is a perfect body somewhere drives everyone to achieve that ideal.I have suffered numerous "body -complexes" due to my conditioning and also the images of the media gave rise to low self esteem.Even Cindy Crawford in an interview, told that she can never look like the "Cindy Crawford in a magazine”. Then why does the society allow morphed images or impossible body ideals to enter the main stream media?

There are various factors which propel the society to give importance
to the body and not the mind.

1.Idolatory nature of the human species.(Valid from ancient times)

2.The adoration of youth and eternal life.Hatred of old age and
death.( Valid from ancient times)

3.Economic Benefit(The advent of Advertising)

Everyone in the present day has issues concerning their body.We all feel ugly because our bodies don’t match the surgically altered bodies of the actors/actress.We may not have flawless skin or pleasing face.But irrespective of that,the natural law's rots them and us at the same time.But perfection of body is a battle with the impossible.

We may struggle hard to keep the body in perfect shape and form,but old age will come.Death will hunt us down.Our body is bound to decompose and become manure.Yoga
has become so popular in the west.One of the western companies wanted to patent yoga as their invention.What was not done in 5000 years (in India),would be done in the past 50 years due to greed.Even yoga when followed as a exercise regiment may hold some benfits,but without the spiritual component, it becomes a money making machine.

But perfection of the mind is possible.We can reach it. Our mind may have the key to the realms of the unexplored.Thanissaro Bhikkhu in his meditation lectures( says that:
The body works on the "Laws Of Dimnishing Returns".By obsessing with our body we cannot get any answers .By working on the mind we learn to deal with inevitable scenarios like death.Old age gives rise to various fears.Hallucinations and nightmares start ruling our mind once our body starts deterioating.If we spend our youth making our minds fearless and attain a state of peace by accepting death and permancence,we are bound to have a rich life.


Anonymous said...

Philosophically, you may know the mind body Descartes problem. So no comments there, as an endless discussion (dialectic) would come in there.

Practically, for a long time, I have a sense of discomfort feel in spine & neck that has troubled me a lot. Medical tests, MRI, Brian stem MRI did not find any problems in my back. Western exercises (weights & bars) helped me a lot in giving relief. I tried experimenting without doing exercises for months and it worsened my condition. If this problem is not overcome, would it not stop keep creating images in mind?

Going back to philosophy, if we assume that body is mind, then perfection of mind is possible only through perfection of body (not following add models). Sports and fitness helps day to day life for me which itself is sort of spiritual.


Karthik Soundarajan said...

Totally agree with that post, it was well articulated but however you seem to have missed the point about uglyness, it talks about the beauty of youth but not on the idea of how certain features look more beautiful than the others.

Body complex is ok, most people have that complex..It doesn't matter if u look average, there is no need to look better and fantasies about how to look like a model.

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Karthik Soundarajan said...

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